The Law, Innovation, and Society (LIS) group is a new research cluster based in Newcastle Law School. The group aims to address challenges broadly relating to:
- the role of law in regulating innovation, and
- innovation within law and legal institutions.
There is a tendency amongst legal scholars to approach innovation in fairly narrow terms, treating is being about either commercial-technological phenomena or techno-scientific ones. The concept of innovation, however, is much wider than this. In its most general sense it is about finding novel solutions to important problems or challenges. These problems can be complex and have significant implications for society as a whole, as well as a variety of actors within it. The LIS group thus explicitly looks beyond the boundaries of traditional scholarship in its conception of the interrelationship between the law, innovation, and society. It is an exciting new vehicle for exploring a range of social, cultural, political, and other responses to change across a breadth of legal and other scholarship.
Part of this involves going beyond disciplinary boundaries in our research. This is necessary because scholarship regarding innovation and change is often fragmented, commonly taking place either within rather than across different sub-discipline areas; for example, emerging (bio)technologies, science and medicine, environment, finance and markets, and so on. The LIS research group takes an interdisciplinary approach. We recognise that multi- and interdisciplinary conversations and perspectives can enrich current debates, be crucial in identifying general issues and challenges for the law, and themselves lead to innovative scholarship. As such, group members are drawn from a variety of legal sub-disciplines. Several also have backgrounds in other disciplines, as well as outside academia.
- TT Arvind
- Tom Bennett
- Jonathan Galloway
- Nikki Godden-Rasul
- Andrew Griffiths
- Kathryn Hollingsworth
- Daithí Mac Síthigh
- Aisling McMahon
- Ole Pedersen
- Muireann Quigley
- Sophia Tang
- Ilke Turkmendag
- Jenny Johnstone
- Richard Collier
- Richard Mullender
- Semande Ayihongbe
LIS SeminarsLIS Seminars
Upcoming seminars will be on:
- 1st November - TBC
- 13th December - TBC
All seminars are 1-2pm in Seminar Room 5, Newcastle Law School.
Past EventsPast Events
- 11th October 2017 - 'Regulating the Tyrell Corporation: Company Law and the Emergence of Novel Beings' - Dr. David Lawrence and Dr. Sarah Morley (Newcastle Law School)
3rd May 2017 - Professor Colin Gavaghan, University of Otago School of Law - Verordnung durch Technik? The prospect of techno-regulation and ‘law by design’.
Technology law, to date, has tended to focus on regulatory targets: what should the law have to say about new technologies like gene editing, robot cars, or the internet? But the relationship between technology and law can also work in the other direction. From interlocks and speed-limiters, to surveillance devices and web filters, technologies are also providing new opportunities for those who make and enforce laws. On the horizon are claims being made on behalf of neuroscience, genetics and artificial intelligence, that promise greater enforceability and safety – but at what cost? In this address, Prof. Gavaghan will consider some of these opportunities, from the relatively familiar to the less obvious and more speculative. He will also consider the prospects for such interventions, before suggesting a possible approach for evaluating their acceptability.
Associate Professor Gavaghan heads the Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies, the only New Zealand-based research centre that examines the legal, ethical and policy issues around new technologies. These include biotechnology, nanotechnology, alternative bio-energy, information and communication technologies, robotics and artificial intelligence. Associate Professor Gavaghan is also co-Director of the Centre for Society, Governance & Science. The Centre promotes and undertakes research on the challenges of integrating medical and scientific advancements with society in the face of changing approaches being used to govern citizens and institutions, as well as their rights, relationships and responsibilities.
- 8th February 2017 - Dr Nayha Sethi, Edinburgh University on ‘Regulating for Uncertainty in Research and Experimentation’
- 7th December 2016 - 'Reconceptualising deterrence in pursuit of compliance: a case study on medieval competition enforcement' - Dr Jonathan Galloway
Competition authorities, and the politicians who hold them to account, primarily rely upon deterrence theory in order to achieve their objective of preventing anti-competitive behaviour. Broad trends of increased severity of sanctions, particularly for cartel behaviour, are easily observable and yet it is far from clear that the deterrence led approach is effective. Heightened severity of sanctions, and heightened probability of sanction, facilitated in part through the operation of leniency, ought to prevent recidivism and also lead to lower levels of infringements as part of a successful deterrence strategy, yet there is little evidence to suggest this is taking place. Efforts to ‘double down’ on deterrence through introducing individual sanctions in jurisdictions such as the UK can be useful but are unlikely to provide a complete answer in order to prevent anti-competitive behaviour. Analogies can be drawn with other regulatory fields, within which such a heavy reliance on a single enforcement/compliance strategy would be regarded as medieval, and yet competition authorities mostly choose not to learn these lessons.
This paper will argue that deterrence should continue to be an important driver of competition authorities’ enforcement strategy, but that it should be framed within an overarching strategy of regulatory compliance, which affords greater priority to individual accountability, so as to align the incentives between corporation and individual.
- 2nd November 2016 - ‘That’s Entertainment?’ - Dr. Daithí Mac Síthigh
The Licensing Act 2003 (in England and Wales), and (somewhat) similar older legislation in Scotland and Northern Ireland, regulate entertainment - one needs a licence to run certain activities (indoors or outdoors) in the presence of an audience, for the public or (where there is a charge with a view to profit) in private. The 2003 Act consolidated close to a century’s worth of legislation on alcohol, entertainment, and more – although other legislation continues to have an impact, such as that on public spaces. The result is that identifying the existence and extent of regulation requires the consideration of a series of definitions and exceptions. I argue that socially and commercially significant decisions regarding whether advance permission is required to run a particular activity continues to depend (even after reform and ‘deregulation’) on the chosen medium of communication. This is therefore a story about circuses, DJs, morris dancers, burlesque performers, and the Church of the Holy Kazoo.
- 25th October 2016 - Dr Turkmendag and Dr McMahon
Dr Turkmendag and Dr McMahon hosted a workshop on human genome editing which brought scholars from Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences (PEALS) from the university, and Prof Paul Martin from the University of Sheffield to discuss the various social, legal and ethical issues around the new techniques of genome editing including CRISPR/Cas9.
- 12th October 2016 - LIS Seminar 'What is "legal imagination"?' - Mr Thomas Bennett.
In this paper, Tom Bennett explores the nature of the imagination and its relevance to the development of common law doctrine. Along the way, he makes pit-stops in the fields of empiricist philosophy and contemporary psychiatry, building an inter-disciplinary picture of this most elusive of human faculties.
- 23rd September 2016 - Behavioural Science in Law & Policy: Evidence, Ethics, & Expertise
Behavioural economics, and behavioural science more generally, has become an increasingly salient aspect of modern policy debates. Despite the current enthusiasm amongst governments and policy-makers for behavioural approaches, there are potential problems with the use of the behavioural sciences to formulate public policy, many of which remain underexplored.
The aim of this workshop was to bring together papers from a range of different disciplinary, regulatory, and practical perspectives to examine these. We invited submissions which speak to any (combination of) the three core themes: Evidence, Ethics, and Expertise. Sub-issues which contributors could consider included:
1.1 Method in the Madness or Madness in the Methods?
1.2 Translating Behavioural Science: Problems, Pitfalls, & Solutions
1.3 Matters of Principle & Practice: Ethics & the Behavioural Sciences
1.4 The Regulatory State in the Behavioural Era
You can download the Behavioural Workshop Report (PDF: 961KB).
11th & 12th July - Fossilisation & Innovation
In many areas the law is under pressure from change. This change comes in a variety of forms and crosses numerous areas; for example:
- digital technologies
- governance systems
- the environment
- finance & market
- politics & social values
Over the course of a two day conference we examined both the levers of change and barriers to change in different areas of the law.
11th May 2016 - Half-Day Event
Four fantastic speakers from Newcastle University Law School staff talked about aspects of their work:
Each of these speakers work in different areas of the law and this event was an opportunity to showcase some of their work and to explore potential connections between disparate areas.